Holiday Bustle...

Well, it's certainly that time of year when we find ourselves bustling around town. Whether we are out and about visiting with family and friends, gathering together at various festivities, eating, light-seeing, shopping for just the right treasures, and beyond, the season is a frenzy of run-run-run-fun!

Between December's calendar of events, I have been back to the drawing board, illustrating holiday-themed notepads and charms for 2012. Of course, the due date for these designs falls right during the busiest season of all!  So, I continue to play the juggler.


This month a couple mice found their way into my drawings...  Despite the last minute rush to complete these images, I must admit that illustrating season-appropriate subject matter makes more sense (rather than illustrating winter characters when its spring outside!)


And, it also helps to have a little snow on the ground when drawing snowmen and the like!


Holly berries, festive wrap, bows and mischievous cats staking their spots in gift boxes are holiday traditions in our family and familiar scenes around the house that offer artistic inspiration.... (and a little holiday humor I might add!)


Before I packed and shipped the last few one of a kind holiday characters from my December Treasure Hunt, I had the chance to display them at Lakewood's Cultural Center. During this particular event, visitors had the opportunity to peek at my case of originals, ask questions and adopt reproduction ornaments. Many thanks to those of you who stopped in to visit and collect my creations!


That's me and my case of holiday delights! They had me situated right outside the lovely Artisan Showcase featuring other handmade treasures by local artists in a gallery setting. Many thanks to the   Lakewood Cultural Center for the warm welcome and invitation to show my creations...


In between art signings, project deadlines, etc... we snuck out on a sunny day for a brisk walk to the park! I honestly had not been on a walk to that park since summer!!!  Eeek! Yet, the clock was still ticking and there was little time to sit for a spell.....  At least I had a chance to finally move my legs. And like I said earlier, December seems to be the month for run-run-run-fun!


We had to scoot for a fun lunch date, shop and then scurry back home to change for 2 evening parties that we wanted to attend. JP snapped several images of the holiday eye candy at party #1... Check out that towering tree all aglow!


I naturally gravitated to the fountain of chocolate fondue and quickly made a mess of myself! But, this time of year, you are supposed to indulge, right?


Cookies and sangria also make a tasty pair too, not to mention licking the chocolate off of my palm :)


And I mentioned light-seeing as well, which is certainly a must this time of year! Thank you Dave & Yv for the magical holiday displays! The journey across town to find our way to your Christmas house was certainly worth the trip...

Well, with any luck I am hopeful to soon sit for a spell and enjoy the weekend with those that are dear. The holiday hustle and bustle has a tendency to intensify through the years, and we all seem to scurry around like excited mice. Perhaps that's why I drew a few last week ~ hehehe! While you are out and about running your holiday errands and dashing through the snow, take a little time to enjoy the sights, sounds and one another. Here's wishing you a little magic and R&R during the holidays! And many thanks to so many of you that make our holidays special and one of a kind......

~ Johanna

Treasure Hunt!...

It was amazing, truly amazing! Our 9th Annual Holiday Folk Art Show & Open House was a real delight! I must admit that waking up to a very snowy scene on Saturday morning brought me nervous chills. But, you still came out! The snow-covered streets and bitter chill in the air did not stop you, and I am so honored that we had such a full house all day Saturday :) Collectors came from near and far, some even hopping on planes to make the journey to snowy Colorado, and I am so grateful to have met each and every one of you! My parents and god mother Melinda also flew in to help us prepare for the show, and JP and I thank you for your hospitality and making our guests feel so very welcome!


So, I know you're probably asking about the "Treasure Hunt." Here is the scoop... With so many generous folks in attendance, I only have 5 holiday originals remaining. As usual, I WISH I had made more than 26, but with the short spanse between Halloween & Christmas, I was lucky to create as many as I did. And after this weekend, I'm thinking that I MUST start on my holiday folk art pieces much sooner next year as my show is growing! In fact, next year will be our 10th consecutive event! Wow! Since I do not have a large enough offering of one of a kinds to advertise for an official web sale, I am going to host a Treasure Hunt, here on my blog instead. Keep checking back this week as I will post a fun variety of images from our Open House, and within the mix I will include images of the pieces still up for grabs. Some photos will be of characters already sold to those who attended, while others will be listed as available. It's up to you to read the captions and hunt for the goodies still at hand! If you see something you like, just email me and I will mark the item sold. And those who missed this fun event will certainly enjoy the tour!  So, check back later this week, and look for my "Holiday Treasures" post. Please, no inquiries until after I post the tour. For now, I must tidy up the house and get things back into order....

See you soon!
~ Johanna

PS: For those curious, I did sell out of my limited edition snow sitters. I wish I had more to offer, but no such luck. And actually, I sold out on my licensed designs as well! I almost always have a few ornaments and figures to spare and offer as collector's sets each year. But again, they all flew out the door! All I can say is Thank You!.... and I will order more for next year's show, so mark your calendars! Our 10th Annual Event will be the first weekend of December as usual......... It will be here before you know it!

Captured in the Workshop!...

EEK, my Holiday Folk Art Show is less than one week away, so I have spent several late nights in the workshop finishing up my collection of winter originals! For days on end, my working uniform of choice has been an oversized hoodie, comfy pants and a pick to keep my hair out of my face. In fact, I am donning the same attractive attire as I type this post tonight. (hehehe!) Well, little to my liking, JP has enjoyed a few spontaneous photo sessions, busting into my disastrous workshop and catching me in the act of creating! Poor me, helpless behind my long work table, tried to ignore the lens in my face and silly gestures he was making to get me to look up and play along! And despite my dowdy appearance and completely scattered workspace, I thought I would share a few images with you. Ya sure, I was once Martha Stewart's Doer of the Week, but that doesn't mean that I don't make a crazy mess every time I set out to create :)  Well, enjoy the images and captions, and I hope to see many of you this weekend at our open house!

Fa La La,
~ Johanna


* Keep in mind, these photos were taken past midnight on Saturday ~ I guess that's technically Sunday morning! My goal was to complete all my originals over the weekend so that I could take their photos before this week began. Mission accomplished, thank goodness!


* Looks like JP was able to squeeze a little smile out of me!


* I was adding the final touches to my characters. That usually consists of mica, glass glitter and accessory trims. As a child, I was fascinated with fashion, drawing and designing clothes for imaginary girls on paper. Now, it seems I am still designing and dressing characters in my own, unique way...


* Hmm, rather homely pic of me adding red glass glitter to the brim of a snowman kettle cup character. You'll notice below that I questioned my decision afterwards. After a bit of pondering, I covered that band of red glass glitter with a layer of twinkling silver. Trust me, it looks better!


* Me pondering..... while JP snaps the moment.....


* JP captures a picture of me adding a wispy black collar to a holiday cat...


* More of the same. I like how the collar adds more definition to the overall design...


* Here, it seems that I have a captive audience of wintery characters awaiting their final trims...


* Adding more glue for glass glitter to a kitty egg cup...


* Eeek! An overhead snap reveals my sloppy work table..... I have tried to stay organized as I work, but it just seems impossible!


* Sunday night rolled in, and I was finally ready to take photos of each original creation. Look, I'm wearing that darn hoodie again, but I let my hair down :)  Seriously folks, I promise to clean up for this weekend's event!


* And JP was having so much fun yet again, that he snapped a screen shot of one of the photo previews I was taking. Pictured is a quartet of holiday egg cups including my first reindeer! This image will probably appear in my Christmas 2011 Gallery whenever the heck I get around to updating it :)

For now, I have plenty to do! We strung lights on our "house in the works" today. For those attending, you'll notice that the exterior is a bit rough, and fingers are crossed that next year, we have things more finished. The front room is all set up as a holiday store, and I am on to my Halloween room tomorrow. One day at a time, right?  SEE you SOON!

Jolly Fun Tease!...

As promised, I thought I would share a wee little tease from my wintery workshop! The first 8 images are a peek at just some of the collectible holiday originals that I am painting this week! Of course, they all need their vintage patina, mica sprinkles, trims and any other adornments that I may choose to add. And yes, I am aware that I have less than 2 weeks to complete this collection, photograph each one, then clean, rearrange the house and decorate! Yikes! I hope I will still be standing when we open our doors on December 3rd! Wish me luck as I certainly need it... For now, enjoy the peek. And now, I am signing out as I am on a mission to prepare for our 9th Annual Holiday Folk Art Show & Open House, destined to be here soon whether I am ready or not! Where did this year go??

(Dear Mr. Calendar,
Can we add one more month to your pages between Halloween & Christmas? Pretty please?  :)

Enjoy, and I look forward tor seeing so many of you soon!

~ Johanna


* Just a peek at some of my Christmas characters awaiting their final touches....


* A pair of cats and a larger owl are certainly looking underdressed!  But, soon that's about to change...


Looks like Missy Mistletoe is close to being ready for the big day, but a glass glitter brim and collar are still in order...


* The base coat has been applied to this wintery owl, and soon I will decorate his hat and perch!


* The top half of a snowman egg cup peers through a crowd of red and white delights...


* I thought I would add a few holiday ghosts to this year's mix!  Why not?  :) There's always the Ghost of Christmas Past to haunt us through the holidays, right?


* And the mice have a been a big hit this year, so a few holiday ones are in the works!


This sweet snowman candy container is anxious for a little twinkle and a set of arms!


* As for my holiday reproductions, I am unleashing a very limited line of snowmen sitters that I designed for Bethany Lowe. Sadly, they never made it into the catalog, and only 16 were produced!  Why, I don't know as they are such jolly fun!.... But, I will have these exlusively available to the folks that attend our Open House!


* And I ordered a few fun "Ruby the Snowbust" characters from my Primitives by Kathy holiday line...


* Also new this season are these sweet snowmen and Santa novelty boxes from my Primitives by Kathy line. Each reproduction will be signed too.....


* Here's a close-up on this year's sugary looking snowmen clothespin clips that you can snap to the boughs of your holiday tree. Dangle their legs over the pine needles for a whimsically fun effect. These characters are from my Bethany Lowe Designs line...


* Back by popular demand from my Bethany Lowe Designs line are these collectible Santa ornaments! They also have a snowman friend to match....


* And another fun group shot of this year's latest Santa characters, again from BLD, also clip to the boughs of your tree!

For all of these fun delights and MORE, please join us on December 3rd & 4th for our Holiday Open House. I will also have a fun variety of illustrated notepads and charms, along with additional winter characters and ornaments. And as promised, the Halloween fans can enjoy the year-end orange and black reproduction delights that I will have available in my back studio room. Don't miss it!

For the official invite and details on this special event, please Join my Mailing List for the scoop!

Christmas Gallery Update!...

It has been ages since I have spent the time to update my Christmas Folk Art Gallery! With show season winding down, I have finally had a moment to sift through some current images of my work from this season to share with you. This year flew by much too quickly for me, so my collection of holiday one of kinds was smaller this time around. But, here is a peek at a few of the fun characters that I was able to create. Below is a tease of a few originals featured in my Gallery. You can always find a link to my various Folk Art Galleries by clicking on the text links on the top right-side column of this blog. You will then be redirected to my Website. Items featured in my Gallery have all found loving homes, but if you are interested in adopting a holiday original from me, please send me an email to join my e-mailing list for updates!

~ Johanna

* A jolly Santa candy egg cup boasts his classic "HO HO HO!"

PS: If you click on "Christmas Gallery Next" at the bottom of my first Christmas Gallery page, you'll find yourself looking at holiday creations of mine from 2008.... It's interesting to compare the quality of photos from an old point and shoot camera I often used to this year's crystal clear images from our DSLR by Nikon.... Makes a BIG difference!

* Both Santa above along with this sweet girl, dressed for the holiday season, are wearing felted mittens. To see more, visit my Christmas Gallery!

* You just want to squeeze this snowman's chubby cheeks!

* A sweet winter kitty up close ~ one of the few winter-themed kettle cups I was able to complete for my holiday show season....

* A closer look reveals a trio of holiday owls hand-painted on the spherical base of a red-feathered owl named "Holly Hoot Hoot"

Photography & Folk Art, © 2010 Johanna Parker Design - Images may not be used without permission.

Home for the Holidays....

Skies are turning gray and the temperature has dropped to a cool brisk chill. Snow is on it's way once again and just in time for Christmas! We are staying home for the holidays and keeping a close eye on our precious Jack who just had 4 teeth pulled. He's recovering nicely and is back to eating food again which is the best present I could ask for. Jack helped me add the finishing touches to our modest Christmas tree, sniffing and nibling on a few of the ornaments before they were hung! Afterward, I snapped a few quick photos for your viewing pleasure :) Enjoy and may your week be cheerful and bright! ~ Johanna

I love this vintage Christmas tree. As the story goes, my mother enjoyed it as a child, and when I was of the age to appreciate this time of year, it was handed down to me. As a child, I started collecting ornaments, and I looked forward to decorating my very own Christmas tree each year. Now, it lives in our home and travels around to my various holiday shows, displaying my ornament wares. A small vintage tree for a small vintage house ~ the perfect pair :) (and if you noticed and were wondering, I draped a simple chartreuse cover over my Halloween, firescreen!... One of these days I want to design another screen for the holidays too..... If only time would permit....sigh....)

* Various ornaments dangle from our tree. I spot a Primitives by Kathy snowman design of mine, and a Santa from my Bethany Lowe line.. How about you! I also love collecting the vintage glass baubles, and for some reason, I can never have enough! I love their rich, jewel-tone hues and simple patterns.

* And now I spot Jack roosting on the top of my most favorite red mohair chair!

* What a surprise it was to receive a special delivery from my fellow artist and collector friend, Robert Brawley! He created an original "Snow-Witch" just for me, and she is standing front and center under the tree amidst two of my reproduced snowbauble designs. Thank you Robert - Love that Halloween/Christmas crossover theme!

* A sweet paper ornament peers through the fluffy boughs of my tree. My dear friend and artist Kitty Forseth and her daughter Madison made a series of these adorable ornaments and sent them to us! They certainly add a sweetness to our tree each year :)

* I had to save the last reproduction "St. Nick's Snowy Ride" candy container for myself! They were going fast, and I wanted one for keeps! This fun duo will be available through my Bethany Lowe line next year. I think they sold out for this season....

* A single vintage tree from a yard sale sits atop an old box. I love the holly graphics, old green hues and mantel illustrations on this container. It belonged to my grandmother, and each year, she would open it and display the ceramic "NOEL" characters that lived inside. I must admit, I love the box even more! :)

* Another fun surprise arrived in today's mail from a sweet artist and collector friend, Theresa Micheau! It's a handmade primitive style Santa cone filled with berries and jingles and smelling divine! Jack thoroughly sniffed its cinnamon spice scent from all sides, and I believe it passed his test :) Looks like we'll be seeing more from Theresa and her "Chicken Scratch Primitives!" Can't wait!.....

* Here hangs an original snowman ornament I made for last year's winter collection. He wears one of my illustrated party hats, and I am glad I saved one for myself as it's fun to see what whimsical goodies my imagination has dreamt up from one year to the next!

* And, lastly is an original snowman candy container from this year's collection! JP and I were smitten with his sweet face, the tiny bird on the tip top of his hat and those yummy hues. So, he's our gift to US, and he proudly stands on our mantel overlooking the festive ornaments below.


A Peek at the Gifts for Yule!...

Well, the forecasters were right this time, as we had a snowy weekend for the Gifts for Yule show. I must admit, it was very nostalgic when the holiday tune "Let it snow" was singing along, across the speakers, and large white flakes were falling outside. Luckily, we had a pause in the weather as the doors opened on Saturday, and the chilly air and snowy roads did not stop many shoppers from attending this festive event! Thank you to all who bundled up and came out to see us! Below are a few images from this fun event, so enjoy! And if you were unable to attend, please mark your calendar for our 7th Annual Holiday Folk Art Show and Open House at our home in Lakewood!... It will be here soon :) ~ Johanna

* That's me smiling and pleased to be all set up and ready for a fun show to start...
PS... for those wondering ~ my left hand and wrist were hurting on Saturday, so I wrapped it up to protect it. I think it's from tightly gripping my art while I sculpt and paint with my right... (workplace hazard...!!) Luckily, the pain left on Sunday :)

* A pair of my Snowmen Bauble reproduction ornaments nestle in an old vintage white tree...

* My various Santa reproductions grouped together and awaiting to meet holiday shoppers...

* There's my cute hubby who safely drove me and our trailer filled with goodies to this holiday event during a winter snowstorm...

* Cute little snowmen heads dangle from a green feather tree in my holiday display...
By the way, the old enamel kettle was my great grandmother's, and mom tells me she made the best Norwegian coffee in it for the holidays!.... I've obviously found a new use for it... I wonder if Grandma Hannah would approve...?

* A peek at my booth all decked out in Christmas cheer....

* More fun holiday reproduction characters of mine stand in unison....

* A festive collage offering just a peek at what the other artisan vendors had to offer at this fun event...

* More visions of eye candy offered by local exhibitors....

* A glimpse at my holiday display....

* © 2009 Johanna Parker Design *Photographs are the property of Johanna Parker and may not be used without permission.

Winter's Coming....

As I was putting the final touches of shimmery mica on some of my latest winter originals, the weatherman was predicting snow and chilly temps for this weekend's Gifts for Yule Show. Winter is coming...the cool gray skies will fill with magical white flakes, and hopefully holiday shoppers will sense the nostalgic spirit of the season. Until then, here is sneak peek at just some of the winter delights I have been finishing up for this festive holiday show. You may have to bundle up, put on those hefty snow boots and trudge through a blanket of white snow to see the rest of my latest goodies. Stay warm and see you soon!
~ Johanna


* © 2009 Johanna Parker Design *Photographs & holiday folk art designs are the property of Johanna Parker and may not be used without permission.

Holiday Tease...

'Tis the season for visions of Santa and jolly snowmen! So, it's the perfect time for a little 2009 teaser... I've been waiting all year it seems for my holiday product line with Bethany Lowe to debut next month. Here are few close-ups which will hopefully entice you to come back for more..... Cheers!

~ Johanna

* A peek at my Santa illustration which will find his face on fun paper cone candy boxes...

* Another Santa, this time in papier mache form...

* What in the world could this jolly snowman be looking at?

* A cheery message in script dances across another sculpted design....

* Another illustration to match a sculpted ornament in the line will find himself on whimsical candy boxes too...

* Another fun Santa, Ho-Ho-Ho-ing along.....

* Sure looks like a snowman up to mischief to me!... hehe!.......
© 2008 Johanna Parker Design * All contents on this site are the property of Johanna Parker and may not be used without permission.